Book Publishing 2.0 = Screw Authors 1.0

HarperCollins Turns Page in Publishing

Marking a radical departure from traditional book-publishing practices, HarperCollins Publishers says it will launch a new book imprint that won’t accept returns from retailers or pay advances to authors.

To be headed by veteran publishing executive Robert S. Miller, the imprint also likely won’t pay for more desirable display space in the front of bookstores, a common practice. Instead, the as-yet-unnamed unit will share its profit with writers and focus much of its sales efforts on the Internet, where a growing portion of book sales are shifting.

Emphasis added by me.

The full story is hidden behind the Wall Street Journal pay wall.

It’s bound to be picked up by others. This is a placeholder/reminder for future posts.

Here’s an idea: How about a publishing venture where the executives aren’t paid in advance, either?

Let’s see if their landlords would like that idea!

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Explore posts in the same categories: Books - Other, Writing

3 Comments on “Book Publishing 2.0 = Screw Authors 1.0”

  1. Jeff Schult Says:

    Regarding:

    “The full story is hidden behind the Wall Street Journal pay wall …”

    There is no longer a pay wall. Not really.

    See:

    The Wall Street Journal’s Web site is already (secretly) free
    http://machinist.salon.com/blog/2008/03/21/wsj/

  2. SKFK Says:

    “a new book imprint that won’t accept returns from retailers or pay advances to authors”

    Oh great, HarperCollins is going to do what comic book publishers have been doing for decades.

  3. Glad Says:

    I am in the process of publishing my first book. I am printing it myself. After several months of finding the right printer and learning the process of publishing, the first thing that came to my mind was that if I were to be a publishing house I would not accept returns or give advances.

    I was surprised actually that publishers did that, with the exception of well known authors every one else is a risk. This is a business and I don’t see why publishers should be required to send hundreds of books to distributors and bookstores and they have up to a year to return them for a full refund.

    For example, a distributor can ask for two hundred copies of a book shipped to him and not pay for them until 90 days after he receives them. Then sell 150, but a 10 days before he needs to pay for them, request two hundred more and ship back to the publisher 195 books back and only pay for 5 and now he has 90 more days to pay for the new request, when he can do it all over again…doesn’t seem like a good business to me.

    As an author I don’t see why I should be paid in advance either. If my work is good, it should sell with the right marketing. While it is nice to get advances, that won’t stop me from writing, as writing is something I love.


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